Nourishing Cells to their Full Potential

Written by Courtney Freeman, L.E.I.

Skin is a reflection of internal health on all levels. It is a complex organ that changes daily due to the fluctuations in hormones and nutrients that pass through cells. The concept of cellular skin care is important to teach to clients as it makes perfect sense when it comes to the formation of acne.

Whether a client is suffering from teenage acne, adult acne, or hormone-induced acne, the concept is the same. This application also rings true for rosacea-like conditions and other skin problems, such as hyperpigmentation. When all aspects of skin health and wellness from a cellular perspective are integrated, harmony and radiance emanate from within.

Individuals with acne, from a genetic standpoint, typically show signs of stubborn blackheads (open comedones), whiteheads (closed comedones), and even cystic acne as early as their pre-teenage and teenage years due to hormone fluctuations, as well as the genetic predisposition of an oilier skin type. This onset is a perfect time for parents and teenagers to focus on the skin condition and ways to treat and prevent it from becoming a life-long problem that can typically lead to acne scarring and stubborn acne. It is imperative that these individuals not turn a blind eye to the triggers and understand that there are several avenues of treatment. Genetic acne is engrained in the DNA. By feeding the cells what they need to function at an optimum level, the skin rejuvenates itself and operates at its best level. Integrating organic fruits and vegetables that are free of pesticides and other chemicals into the diet on a daily basis will infuse cells with the nutrients and antioxidants they need to fight free radicals that steal electrons from the cells and cause them to be unstable and stabilize the oil production within the skin.

Because teenagers typically have a hard time not consuming junk food, it is recommended to first cut out as much sugar and processed food as possible. There will be “cheat days,” such as cookouts and football games, where drinking soda and eating pizza will be unavoidable, but the majority of their time should be focused on nourishing their body with what it needs to stabilize the oil production and generate new, healthy cells!

Second, integrate healthy protein shakes and smoothies. Teenagers are notorious for turning their noses up to healthy fruits and vegetables. Parents can make friends with the blender and whip up a shake for breakfast, lunch, or an afternoon snack. Mixing whey protein with frozen organic berries, chia seeds (rich in highly concentrated antioxidants), and dark leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, will ensure the right nutrients are getting to the cells for healthy, clear skin!

Genetic acne conditions must also be treated with proper skin care. Research about ingredients is essential; not all products are made equal. If the term “mineral oil,” for example, is a part of any skin care product teenage clients are utilizing, they should refrain from using it and any product that contains the ingredient. The most effective regimen for stubborn teenage acne is a combination of products purchased only from a licensed aesthetician or medical spa. Clients must understand that changing the routine daily is key. Clients should essentially “shock” the skin into responding to the ingredients they are using to breakdown the resistance. It is common to see benzoyl peroxide being overused in the treatment of teenage acne. What consumers must realize is that benzoyl peroxide is phenomenal in the treatment of active acne lesions, but can only be used a few days a week. Other ingredients, such as retinol (in the form of a mild retinol formulation or even as high as prescription-level tretinoin), salicylic acid, and glycolic acid should also be integrated into an acne regimen. The key is to keep the routine in a constant state of unexpected change, with highly concentrated products, while also maintaining the correct oil-water balance of the skin. Stubborn acne will not respond to over-the-counter and drug store purchases. Clients should see a skin care professional for a completely written out program with plenty of follow-up for true skin health success!

Adult acne in women, on the other end of the spectrum, is triggered by life events that cause hormone fluctuations. Pregnancy, changes in birth control, changes in diet, stress, and weight gain are all examples of life events that cause acne. The skin is a reflection of a person’s internal health on all levels! The goal is to infuse healthy living into the equation while also cutting back on oxidative stress that wreaks havoc on the skin from a cellular perspective. A cell’s outer wall, the cell membrane, is supposed to be semi-permeable, meaning that nutrients – such as vitamins, minerals, and proteins – are to be able to flow freely in and out to nourish the cell. When clients consume more chemicals, sugars, complex carbohydrates, and junk, they are causing harm to the cells. To steer the point home even more, those bad foods are actually hardening the cellular walls, which stop the flow of nutrients to the mitochondria and other elements within the cell that are essential in organ functioning and living a healthy life of beautiful skin.

Suggest that clients begin from the inside by cleaning up their diet and adding in the essential antioxidants that build up cells. Free radical damage causes oxidative stress that tears down collagen and causes conditions such as adult acne. Adult acne typically can be noticed around the jaw line and chin area, which is a sign of poor nutrition and not enough antioxidants within the body to repair the cellular membranes for optimum skin health. Antioxidants donate electrons back to the cells from which free radicals steal. Skin care professionals should recommend a skin care regimen that is rich in topical vitamin C, an antioxidant that fights external oxidative stress, as well as serums rich in salicylic acid (at a lower concentration than that of teenage acne), glycolic acid (at a higher concentration), and regular chemical peels at different levels. Exfoliation at the basal layer of the epidermis for adult acne is an essential factor in ridding the skin of active lesions and producing a two-in-one effect of producing new skin cells that can also lead new collagen production in the dermis for younger-looking skin.

With a complete understanding of skin care at the cellular level and compliance with what it takes to nourish those cells at their full potential, clients can win the fight against acne!

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